The Hagel ‘resignation’: Toadies need apply
We’ve never been much of a fan of Chuck Hagel, the former U.S. senator of Nebraska tapped by President Obama two years ago to become secretary of Defense. And his performance at his confirmation hearing in early 2013 — “He stumbled. He mumbled. He dissembled,” we opined at the time — only affirmed the overriding sense of bumfuzzlement that he so often projected.
How ironic, then, that it was Mr. Hagel’s frustrating expressions of a lack of clarity in the Obama administration’s foreign policy that appear to have, at least in part, led to his “resignation” on Monday.
Surely the final indignity for the rudderless administration came in an interview last week with Charlie Rose for PBS. Hagel pretty much threw Mr. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden under the bus in noting how he and top Pentagon brass were “worried” and “concerned” about the direction of the military. And it was more than implied that the president had not taken steps to prepare American armed forces for future ISIS-like challenges.
It was a rare spot-on assessment for Hagel. But no administration could tolerate such rank-breaking, no matter how accurate.
Thus, the search is on for a new Defense secretary. A number of names have been floated. But it’s pretty clear — and concomitantly sad and dangerous for the nation — that “toady” will be at the top of the qualification criteria.